VCs in the Making 3.0

4 min readJul 6, 2021

An Inside Look through the Eyes of Our Spring Venture Fellows Cohort

Last Spring, IDEA Fund Partners hosted our latest class of Venture Fellows, a program to provide on-the-job experience to student and young professionals looking to learn more about venture capital. These Fellows from around the country were not merely observers on the sidelines -they played an integral part in the team by being fully immersed in the deal review, due diligence, and broader strategy of the firm. Their contributions and insights will last much longer than the ten weeks they spent with us. They have shared some of their biggest takeaways from the summer:

Tamar Vidra (Columbia University, BA)

“IFP fellows are granted unique access to deals and impact over the evaluation process. During my time at IFP, I felt very fortunate to be given so much opportunity and responsibility within a nurturing environment. Fellows are encouraged to come up with their own convictions about startups, and present research to bolster their underlying logic. The fellowship does not only lend fellows fantastic insight into the day-to-day dynamics of a VC firm, but teaches how to both build and present an argument, and importantly, how to accept counter arguments and refine one’s thinking with new information. At IFP, I had often encountered information that surprised me, placed doubt on my earlier beliefs, and even changed my mind — the hallmark of a great learning experience.”

Lewis Burnham (UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, EMBA)

“ The Fellowship at IDEA Fund Partners proved to be an invaluable experience that provided the opportunity to learn all facets of venture capital. What I appreciate most about the team at IFP is their willingness to teach and guide while also allowing each member of the cohort to stretch and challenge themselves. From the outset were given responsibility that matter, which enhanced and accelerated our learning experience.”

Christina Wang (Swarthmore College, BS)

“My time with IDEA Fund Partners has allowed me to further understand the inner workings of the startup and venture capital world. Having done a previous venture fellowship, it was gratifying to be able to apply those learnings directly at IFP. The opportunity to review early-stage startups, present at partner meetings, sit in on founder pitches, and deep dive into rising verticals have been what I’ve appreciated most about this experience. I’ve learned so much from the partners at the firm and the other fellows, and I’m excited to apply this knowledge in my career.”

Bill Fields (Columbia University, EMBA)

“A truly unique opportunity to crystallize an understanding of the private investment sphere and build a network in the VC industry. As part of the Fellowship you’re fully integrated into the team — learning about the inner workings of startup evaluation and how to effectively assess success factors in early stage startups. I really enjoyed being part of the investment process and building fundamental skills in sourcing and diligence.”

Mimmy Wenzel (UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, MBA)

“The IDEA Fund fellowship is an excellent introduction to the world of early stage Venture in which I was able to gain valuable hands-on experience and skills from.”

Bobby Niehaus (University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, EMBA)

“A common adage about venture capital is that it is an apprenticeship business. Like so many of the best startups we meet, it is the team of people working at a firm that truly make it outstanding. My time at IDEA Fund has been special to me not only for the intimate exposure to the wide range of work at a VC fund but also for the stellar community in which to have experienced it. It has been an immense privilege to work in venture alongside outstanding peers in the VC Fellows program; kudos to the IFP team for bringing together such a diverse and driven cohort! I will forever be grateful for the strategic insight, mentorship, and support of the fund’s leadership: Chris, Joe, John, and Lister. To the Future!.”




IDEA Fund Partners is one of the oldest and most active early stage VCs headquartered in the Southeast United States.